Hanoi Hannah — and Axis Sally, Eastern Jewel, Lord Haw-Haw, Pyongyang Sally, Tokyo Rose and Seoul City Sue. They’re no longer needed. Afterall, we have the Internet.
By zapping the truth through an ostrich-like policy censorship, deletions, and exaggerations U.S. Armed Forces Radio lost the trust of many GIs when they were most isolated and vulnerable to enemy propaganda. It wasn’t that Hanoi Hannah always told the truth – she didn’t. But she was most effective when she did tell the truth and US Armed Forces Radio was fudging it.
As usual, The Economist’s obituary is elegant.
Trinh Thi Ngo (“Hanoi Hannah”), broadcaster for Voice of Vietnam, died on September 30th, aged 87
The voice was faint, for the signal was weak between Hanoi and the Central Highlands. Nonetheless, at 8pm Saigon time, after a day spent avoiding mantraps and pursuing the ever-elusive Vietcong, GIs would try to unwind by listening to the young woman they called “Hanoi Hannah”. As they cleaned their rifles, smoked herbs and broke out a beer or two, their precious radios, strapped up for protection with ragged black tape, crackled with tones that might have been those of a perky high-school cheerleader. “GI Joe, how are you today?” asked the sweet-sounding girl, of men to whom any girl would have sounded sweet. “Are you confused? Nothing is more confused than to be ordered into a war to die or be maimed for life without the faintest idea of what’s going on. You know your government has abandoned you. They have ordered you to die. Don’t trust them. They lied to you.”